Your newest fishing experience starts here, with species, gear and destinations to try

Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman fishing columnist
Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman fishing columnist

For many Idaho anglers, March marks the official beginning of fishing season. It may not feel very springy outside right now, but make no mistake — warmer weather will be here before we know it. And when it arrives, it will be time to catch some fish.

For some of us, there’s no such thing as “fishing season.” It’s a year-round venture that simply changes with the seasons. Even so, it’s good to reset the clock, stock up on some new tackle and establish goals and plans for the year.

For others, angling won’t begin in earnest until April or May, when summery temperatures and abundant options make conditions ideal. If you fall in that boat, consider this your advance notice. It’s never too early to start making your preparations.

No matter how serious an angler you are, our 2018 Fishing Guide was written with one goal in mind — to make this the most successful year of angling you’ve ever had. Looking for new lures and gear that will help you catch more fish and get the most out of your trips? Look no further. Searching for new destinations to try, either close to home or on an extended weekend trip? Done and done. Maybe you’re hoping to chase a new species or incorporate some new tactics on the water this season. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

One of the best things about fishing is the limitless supply of options available, especially in our great state. By the time you finish this guide, you’ll be fully prepared to load up your handy tackle backpack with Zoom plastic worms and Berkeley crankbaits, drive to C.J. Strike Reservoir and wrangle a sneaky largemouth bass. If you get lucky and bump into local high school phenom Eyston Kunz, he might even tell you where the big ones are hiding.

Alternatively, you slip on your snazzy waterproof fishing sneakers and venture to the South Fork of the Boise River. Tie on a prince nymph (make sure you pinch down the barb) and you just might hook into a giant rainbow trout. And if you happen to cross paths with an expert fisherwoman like Shauna Williams, I’m sure she can give you a few tips.

If you’re hoping to enjoy a delicious fish fry, you might buy a worm threader and some night crawlers, grab some small tube jigs and drive north to chase Lake Cascade’s legendary jumbo perch. Whether through the ice or from a boat, underwater electronics will help you locate the schools. Or, you could just chase down Rapala-sponsored perch guru Andy Fiolka, who always seems to find the monsters.

Catching a new species, finding success with a new lure or venturing onto uncharted waters always brings a smile to my face. I hope the ideas and tips we jam-packed into this guide will give you the knowledge, confidence and motivation to make 2018 your best fishing season yet.

Happy reading, happy fishing, and tight lines!

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks at